Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

J. Larry Stockton, professor and head of music at Lafayette, will present “Colors of Time,” an evening of percussion featuring instruments from around the world in a variety of musical settings, 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts.

Also performing will be guest artists Newman-Oltman Guitar Duo, the 2002-03 Alan and Wendy Pesky Artists-in-Residence at Lafayette; Kojiro Umezaki, a member of Lafayette’s class of 1991, who played at Carnegie Hall with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in May; and Cathexis recording artist Skip Wilkins, assistant professor of music at Lafayette.

The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Stockton will perform two unaccompanied solo selections. “Colors of Time” is a collaborative composition, inspired by Richard Trevarthen’s “Road Map for Larry,” which was written in 1974 as a gift to Stockton from Trevarthen, his theory and composition teacher. The scores calls for up to 73 percussion instruments and a multitude of subtle texture changes. Earlier this year, Stockton composed the second selection, “Dance of the Octopodes,” for solo marimba.

Newman-Oltman Guitar Duo will perform Brazilian guitar music accompanied by Stockton on percussion. Umezaki will play the shakuhachi, an end-blown bamboo flute with a history dating back to 7th-century Japan, in a duet with Stockton, who will employ Japanese percussion instruments. Wilkins and Stockton will perform two Milt Jackson compositions, “Lillie” and “Bag’s Groove,” on vibraphone and piano, respectively.

The concert also will include a performance of Edgard Varese’s “Ionization” by Lafayette Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Tom DiGiovanni.

Stockton is a specialist in Japanese traditional music, specifically music of the Kabuki theater. He teaches world music courses, jazz, and a number of other offerings, many of which he developed. In addition, he directs the World Music Ensembles. He is former director of Lafayette Marching Band (1977-1989), Concert Band (1977-1988), and Jazz Ensemble (1977-1991).

This summer, Stockton mentored Rashada Norman, a senior computer science major from Bethlehem, Pa., and Ryan Tobin, a double major in computer science and music from Pennsburg, Pa., as they computerized the holdings of Lafayette’s music library. The students worked for Stockton through Lafayette’s EXCEL Scholars program, in which students assist faculty with research while earning a stipend. Stockton also is supervising a senior project by Nuri Noaz, a junior double major in music and govermnment & law, who is investigating chromesthesia, or colored hearing. She is using the David L. Burge system to determine if it is possible for someone to learn relative pitch and identify pitches by letter name when they are associated with colors.

Last year, Stockton and William E. Melin, professor of music at Lafayette, delivered a multimedia presentation entitled “The New York Jazz Experience: A Model for Experiential Learning” at the International Conference of the College Music Society at the University of Limerick, Ireland. In 2000, he received a Fullbright-Hayes Fellowship for study of percussion in Ghana. In 1990, he studied gamelan music in Bali, Java, and Sumatra.

Stockton is active as a performer, conductor, and clinician. He has published numerous articles and conducted workshops in Japanese music. In 1992-93, he produced a four-volume set of band music for Toshiba-EMI, Ltd. He also coordinates Lafayette’s East Asian Studies program.

Stockton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from West Carolina University and a doctorate in musical arts from Temple University. He has participated in intensive Japanese language study at Cornell University, attended a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar on Japanese theater music and one on Shamisen history and techniques, and undertaken private study of Kabuki theater and Nagauta performance.

Michael Newman and Laura Oltman have spent the last 20 years touring internationally and making 10 critically acclaimed recordings. The duo’s concert tours have taken them to 49 states, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada, and the Caribbean, featuring performances at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, Caramoor Festival, and Princeton and Yale Universities. They have been featured in the national media, including People Magazine, National Public Radio, The Larry King Show, and The New York Times. They are recipients of numerous grants and awards, including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and Chamber Music America.

Umezaki played in Carnegie Hall this year as part of the Silk Road Project, a series of concerts and lectures relating to the cultures of trade routes that joined the East to the West from 200 B.C. to 1,500 A.D. His first performance was in the project’s opening at Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in northern Germany. In late June and early July, Umezaki played at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., where he presented his own work with shakuhachi and electronics. Through his own two-person business, Healthy Boys, Umezaki is developing software for the Broadway musical market and fulfilling contracts for software that can be used to rehearse songs.

Umezaki earned a master’s in electro-acoustic music at Dartmouth College in 1993. Since January 2000, he has been teaching music technology in the theory department within the music faculty at McGill University in Toronto. He says that at Lafayette, he was fortunate that one area of expertise for Stockton is Japanese traditional music, while Melin has strong interests in electronic music.

“It was a perfect mix for me. When I applied, I was not aware that Larry was an expert in Japanese music and when I received a letter from him about this, I was very excited about the possibility of studying at Lafayette,” he recalls. “In my freshman year, I took a course with Bill Melin in electronic music, and it was he who encouraged me to mix the shakuhachi with electronics.”

For more than 25 years, Wilkins has performed with many accomplished musicians. In 2001, he and flutist Jill Allen released Petty Theft on Cathexis Records. Featuring the Wilkins & Allen Quartet and Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman, the CD received significant airplay and positive reviews nationwide, including a three-star review from Karl Stark in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Wilkins is a 2001 fellowship recipient from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, garnering an award for excellence in jazz composition. He teaches courses in music theory and jazz.

Categorized in: Academic News